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Re: How do you motivate your kid in college?? (Debt incurred based on performance?)


Replies to: Re: How do you motivate your kid in college?? (Debt incurred based on performance?)

  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,923 Senior Member
    The biggest problem with a 4.0 is that a student will always take the "safe" courses and college should be a time to challenge y ourself.
  • MichiganGeorgiaMichiganGeorgia Registered User Posts: 4,472 Senior Member
    OP hasn't said that his 2 younger daughters are his and his wife's. It's possible that he and the wife haven't been married very long. And he doesn't say he is going to treat them differently. I think he's just overhelmed by the cost and wants to make sure there is money for the other 2 daughters. He needs to have talk with the wife and the daughter and
    set up some sort of game plan.
  • sseamomsseamom Registered User Posts: 4,905 Senior Member
    Well, he did call one the step-daughter and then say he had two young girls-not two other step-daughters. So I think maybe they ARE his bio kids.

    That said, he posted only twice and hasn't been back, despite several questions and several pages of comments. I wonder if it was just some fly-by-nighter trying to stir the pot.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,715 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    OP hasn't said that his 2 younger daughters are his and his wife's. It's possible that he and the wife haven't been married very long.
    Financially, we have saved and could send her to school almost debt-free...

    If he and his wife have saved enough money so that they can afford to send her to a ~$36k/year OOS school nearly debt free, they either make very good money or they've been saving for quite a while (long enough for his younger two daughters to be the half sisters, not step-sisters, of this college student).
  • mamabear1234mamabear1234 Registered User Posts: 3,524 Senior Member
    I agree with compmom that once in college, motivation to do well comes from within the student herself, and there is not much you can do to motivate her. You can set a list of requirements but that may not make any difference to her. I am in the minority in that I never required 'skin in the game' (an expression I hate) and have 2 kids successfully out of college and self-supporting in good jobs and one still in college who is very upset that she just got her first B ever. My S did not like high school and got by with the minimum work to get As and Bs, but once he got to college he took it very seriously and worked very hard to attain his career goal. I don't know your daughter, perhaps once she finds her major she will be motivated to complete it?
  • BeeDAreBeeDAre Registered User Posts: 1,165 Senior Member
    As someone who graduated back in the '90s (when jobs for college grads were plentiful and paid fairly well) with over 8k in debt - I think your idea is terrible. And honestly, a little cruel and punitive. If you have the money saved for her college expenses, why make her go into debt at all? It's not a good way to start independent adulthood, believe me. I struggled to pay just that 8k off, and I had a decent full-time job right after graduation.
    What if she doesn't find employment right away after graduating? How will she start to pay that debt?

    We also have money saved for our daughter's college expenses, if we had to pay full-price somewhere.
    However, we are talking to her about only paying for in-state tuition or the equivalent - or to pay the remainder of the cost - up to +/- 20k - at any other OOS school where she may receive a merit scholarship. Daughter really wants to leave our home state, so we figure that may motivate her to keep her grades up, so she can get merit aid. The scholarship would be considered her contribution, and something she's earned.
    We also want her to have money for grad school later, or maybe to get started on living expenses when she graduates...

    I would never, ever have her take out a loan when we have the money already. That's just insane to me and my husband. Maybe because we both went into debt for grad school (and undergrad as well, for me), and we've decided we hate being in debt and it's just not a good place to be. It's very stressful to be in debt, and students graduating with debt automatically start out with a disadvantage. I realize some students have to take out loans, but you said your stepdaughter doesn't - so why punish her like that?

    As for possibly motivating her -
    What if your stepdaughter gets a 3.0 GPA and just decides not to go to college at all, because she doesn't want to go into debt?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,182 Senior Member
    There are very few threads on this forum where everyone agrees. Unless I missed something, no one thinks the OP's plan is something worth doing.

  • BeeDAreBeeDAre Registered User Posts: 1,165 Senior Member
    Ah, sorry, I mis-read part of the OP - student is already in college. Yeah, a 4.0 is tough to achieve or maintain in any field of study. Really unrealistic.
  • Coriander23Coriander23 Registered User Posts: 1,117 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    This thread is crazy, haha. It's like you want your stepdaughter to resent you and be stressed out during a new chapter of her life. Deciding her financial future (that might be a bit of a stretch, but then again so is this thread) based on her transcript? Are you by chance related to Cinderella's evil stepmother?

    Edit: I feel like I'm being a bit unclear here. The parts that bothered me the most, to be honest, were OP's posts afterwards--it doesn't really seem like he and the stepdaughter, or the collegiate process for that matter, are on the same wavelength (many students are undeclared their first semester, for example) and I feel like these sorts of actions will only exacerbate the issue.

    If you don't want to pay for college, then see if she qualifies for any scholarships at UNH. Or something. I don't know. Not this.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,913 Forum Champion
    the cost is high for out-of-state tuition and she is not much of a go-getter or joiner (she refused to do Work/Study last semester).


    Was Work-Study awarded in her FA pkg? or was that something that you wanted her to go get/do? It doesn't sound you she would have qualified for Work-study. A student can't just ask for W-S. That is a Financial Aid award given to student "with need". It doesn't sound like she had "need." And, it's much harder to get awarded W-S when you're OOS or your need is low.

    I am a little curious, though. If she wanted this particular pricey OOS public at full pay, why weren't any reasonable agreements made during the college choice process??? Few parents will just blindly pay full OOS costs for a public, especially for a student that isn't motivated to do "her share" (work-study or regular part-time job).

    Why didn't the subject of W-S come up when you all were deciding whether she could go to this pricey school? Seems to me, you should have said, "Oh, you want to go to OOS UNH? Well that is very expensive. You'll have to contribute $1000 from a summer job, and you'll have to work part-time (either WS or other) during the school year to earn another $2000...if you want to go to that school." And, if you're the type of parents who won't pay for a "fluff major," then that was also the time to make that known.

    Instead, you let her choose/register/enroll in a pricey school....and then she has no motivation to do anything other than what she wants.

    It seems to me that you missed your window for making any (reasonable) agreements.

  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 32,074 Senior Member
    My younger son had a 2.99 GPA at the end of sophomore year. He worked his butt off, but he was taking a language that did not come easily to him. I'm glad we didn't punish him. He took his junior year abroad, got the grounding in the language he needed and was on the Dean's List both semesters senior year. If we'd set some sort of minimum GPA he'd have switched to an easier major.

    As for fluff majors - they probably don't get fluffier than what I majored in - a mix of studio art, design, a lot of architectural history and some film courses. It was great preparation for architecture school and life.
  • ProudMomx3ProudMomx3 Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    I think it is a ridiculous idea that will provide no motivation in the present, only punishment in the future. Why? Because 18-19 years olds (and beyond-even many much older adults) have no concept of debt. Taking out student loans will be meaningless to her right now, but when she graduates she will be saddled with the debt and probably resentful that you "punished" her. If she was going to be required to take loans even though you can afford her education, that is fine, but you should have told her that up front. Now a job, that is different story, but I do believe what ever precedent you set you should be willing to follow through with the same parameters for you "real" kids.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,182 Senior Member
    I asked that work study eligibility question very early in this thread. A family that has enough saved to fully fund college for three people would likely not qualify for need based aid in many cases. WS is a need based award.

    Having said that...I also,wonder where this student is getting her discretionary spending money? Are the parents providing all of it? If they stop giving her spending money, she will get a job.

    The OP has left the room...seems like he started this thread, and vanished!
  • IowaParent15IowaParent15 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    I agree with the above post. The time for this discussion was prior to the senior year in high school. I actually sat my son down before his junior year and reached a strategy. At this point, I would discuss your expectations and lay out what level of contribution you feel is fair, and have her make the choice on where to go and how much she wants to do.
This discussion has been closed.